For a relatively new industry, the cannabis world has gotten pretty technologically advanced. As concentrates make up a bigger and bigger part of the market, more and more of the industry comes down to fine science. Not just botany and agriculture, but the detailed chemistry of boiling points and chemical reactions.
In the science of producing marijuana concentrates, the weed biz has actually pulled ahead of some other, more established industries. But now they’re starting to catch up.
That’s what Block 15 Brewing Co. has done. They’ve looked to the technology of weed extract to try to improve their beers, and they’re having success so far. Since cannabis and hops are cousin plants, the company out of Corvallis, Oregon is experimenting with isolating certain qualities from specific hops varieties to get new kinds of beer that have never existed before.
In particular, they’re using daboratory techniques to heighten the dank, bitter taste of India pale ales that so many beer geeks love. They do this by extracting flower cones out of the raw hops.
Nick Azner of Block 15 says that while their beers have been popular, “some people are a little weird about it and say they want beers with whole cone hops and all that.” He told the Willamette Week Potlander that he decided to respond to that desire with new brewery techniques. “I said, ‘You know what? I’m going to launch a series that really celebrates that we’re using all these different hop products to make really good beer and push our techniques a bit.”‘
This was nine months ago. Since then, Block 15 has created several beers in it’s DAB Lab series (DAB stands for Dank-Ass Beers). They’ve worked with Oregon area hop cultivators on the concentrates. “The hop growers showed me the [extracts] during hop harvest, and I really liked it,” Azner told The Potlander. “They’re a little secretive about how they make some of it, but if you’ve seen CO2 resin for cannabis, it’s that.”
Azner says that while this sort of thing is exciting to beer and weed geeks, many others just like the taste. “They don’t care,” he says. “They’re just happy to have a great beer.”
Other brewers are experimenting with the same technology across the country, according to Potlander, so we may soon witness a renaissance of weed-influenced dank-ass beers.
Photo via Flickr user Quinn Dombrowski